Discover Museums and Other Cool Stuff
In accordance with COVID-19 procedures, all museums listed will be closed through March or until further notice. Please click on Museum name to visit each website for updates.
Housed in a 1930’s Winter Colony cottage named Banksia. Its 3.5 acre grounds are also home to an 1890’s one-room schoolhouse and a log cabin built in 1808. The 17,500 sq. ft. museum has three floors of exhibits and a gift store. Open Tues – Sat. 10am-5pm; Sun. 2pm – 5pm
433 Newberry St. SW | Aiken
Collections range from firearms, to equestrian, to American Revolution, to Native American and Boykin Spaniel. Open Mon – Fri 8am – 5pm; Sat 10am-4pm
1314 Broad St. | Camden
Housed in a replica of a 1765 Cayce trading post, the Cayce Historical Museu aims to share the rich history of the Cayce, Old Saxe Gotha, Granby, and West Columbia areas with visitors. Impressive display of Native American artifacts. Closed on Mondays & major holidays | Open Tues – Fri: 9am – 4pm Sat & Sun: 2pm – 5pm
1800 12th Street | Cayce
The Columbia Museum of Art is among the leading art institutions in the country, with over 25 galleries that house art that spans 5,000 years of history!
It’s Alive! Classic Horror and Sci-Fi Art from the Kirk Hammett Collection – Now – May 17.
Design by Time – June 20 – September 12
Black is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwite – June 27 – Sept 6
Monday: Closed | Tues – Sun: 10am -5pm (Open until 8pm on the first Thursday of each month)
1515 Main Street | Columbia
All exhibits at EdVenture are hands-on and experiential. Introduces kids to the worlds of flight, the human body, pets, cooking, making things, the natural world and more. Monday-Sunday: 9am-5pm
211 Gervais Street | Columbia
107 acres sit atop the original 18th-century property of the city’s founder Joseph Kershaw and the fortified Revolutionary War-era town occupied by British General Cornwallis and Lord Rawdon’s men from 1780-81. Explore the reconstructed Kershaw-Cornwallis House, c. 1800 McCaa’s Tavern,and other period structures. Open Tues – Sat 10am – 5pm; Sun 1pm – 5pm
222 Broad St. | Camden
Five house museums each give insight into the lives of generations of Columbians, beginning back in the early 1800’s. General tours start at 10am Tuesday-Saturday; Sundays at 1pm. Start in the gift shop for tickets.
1616 Blanding Street | Columbia
Through its 36 historic structures and furnishings, the museum focuses on the early history of Lexington County and its residents. Open Tues – Sat: 10am – 4pm | Sun: 1 – 4pm.
231 Fox Street |Lexington
Featuring programming for adults and children alike, and exhibits ranging from military history, arts and entertainment, municipality history, and more. Open Tues – Sat 10am – 5pm
1300 Friend St. | Newberry
Collects, preserves, and exhibits South Carolina’s military culture from the colonial era to the present. The museum was founded in 1896, and is the third oldest museum in the state. Over There: Americans Abroad in WWI and WWI in 3D. Now thru May 25. Open Tues – Sat: 10am – 5pm First Sunday of the Month: 1 – 5pm
301 Gervais Street | Columbia
One of the largest National Guard museums in the country. Vast array of artifacts ranging from period and authentic firearms, edged weapons, uniforms, artillery pieces, and armored fighting vehicles. Mon – Sat. 10am – 4pm.
1 National Guard Rd. | Columbia
803-299-4440 | Free
Exhibits many pieces of rolling equipment, cars, cabooses and engines. Offers regular rides on its own track. BBQ Dinner Trains thru November; Rudy Mancke State Naturalist special train ride May 16; Veterans Train Ride – vets ride free – May 23; Saturday train rides throughout summer 10:30am and 1:30pm
110 Industrial Park Rd. | Winnsboro
Four floors of permanent exhibits on history, art, natural history and science and technology as well as a variety of changing and traveling exhibits, a 55-foot digital dome planetarium, 4D theater, and 2,500 square foot observatory that features a 1926 Alvan Clark refracting telescope. Open Mon & Wed-Fri: 10am – 5pm | Tue: 10am – 10pm Sat: 10am – 6pm | Sun: 12-5pm
301 Gervais Street. | Columbia
The museum includes the Williams-Brice House (1916), the Heritage Education Center (2003), the Carolina Backcountry Homestead, and the Temple Sinai Jewish History Center. Open Thursday – Saturday 10am – 5pm Closed holidays.
122 N. Washington St. |Sumter
Located on the University of South Carolina’s campus, the museum provides insight into the history of USC and the community, culture, and environment of the American South.
A Woman’s Right – Now – Dec 5
Piece by Piece: Quilts from the Permanent Collection – Now – July 18
Not Your Average Joe: Mr. Knozit and the Peabody Award – through June 6
Mon-Fri: 8:30am – 5pm | Sat: 11am – 3pm.
1501 Pendleton Street | Columbia
Other Cool Stuff You Don’t Want to Miss
This monthly event occurs on, obviously, first Thursdays and is held in downtown Columbia. Shops, galleries and restaurants offer pedestrians late hours, special discounts on merchandise, food and drinks and lots of live music and entertainment along the sidewalks. The Columbia Museum of Art has late hours, activities, and entertainment this night.
First Thursday in April has been cancelled due to COVID-19
University of South Carolina Gamecocks play in Founders Park now thru May 16
Columbia Fireflies play in SEGRA Park from April 9 thru Sept 5 (great promos for home games)
Lexington Blowfish play in Lexington County Baseball Stadium from May 5 thru Aug 1
Due to COVID-19, USC Gamecock Baseball has been cancelled for the remainder of the season. Columbia Fireflies baseball has postponed their season until further notice.
Soda Cap Connector Ride for free! These minty green buses run between Downtown Columbia, Five Points and West Columbia.
Soda Cap Connector not currently operating due to COVID-19.
Toodle around the city on a shared bike. Pay an annual fee, a monthly fee or $2 to ride for 45 minutes. Download the app
One of the leading orchestras in the Southeast! Concerts at Koger Center for the Arts April 5 & 25
All SC Philharmonic events through April 30th have been postponed, no date set yet
Located at 1100 Gervais St. in Downtown Columbia, the center of state government is rich in history and tours are fun and enlightening. Tours available 9:30am – 3:30pm depending on month. The grounds are well-kept gardens with statuary of historical figures and the amazing African-American monument
Murals on buildings, bronze statuary, mosaics, fountains and more are yours to enjoy.
Though its role has never been widely recognized, Columbia was a significant factor in shaping the American Civil Rights Movement, which reached its height in 1963. In 2013, Columbia developed a walking tour that reconstructs forgotten events on signage along the way. You can download the map at columbiasc63.com
Home to more than 2,000 magnificent and fascinating animals and one of the nation’s most beautiful and inspiring botanical gardens. The lush 170-acre site features dynamic natural habitat exhibits, scenic river views, spectacular valley overlooks and significant historic landmarks.
Main Entrance: 500 Wildlife Parkway Columbia
Botanical Garden Entrance: 1300 Botanical Parkway West Columbia
Riverbanks Zoo & Garden will be closed through April 30th due to COVID-19
Under the ancient oaks and magnolias of Trinity’s Churchyard are buried some of South Carolina’s distinguished sons and daughters including Revolutionary heroes, previous SC governors and bishops of the Episcopal Church.
1100 Sumter St
If Hootie and the Blowfish is one of your favorite 90’s bands, you have to see the large outdoor sculptural artwork created to celebrate the band’s 25th anniversary. The band formed at the University of South Carolina and is treasured as our hometown band.
Devine & Harden Sts in Five Points
Located at 423 College Street, Leesville, SC 29070, at the end of Main Street. Live bluegrass concerts at the Haynes on the 4th Saturday of each month, beginning in April. An informal jam session begins in the afternoon at 4:30pm. Open stage runs from 7:00pm to 7:45pm, and the featured band concert begins at 8:00pm. Admission is $7.
Due to COVID-19, concerts are on hold.
Carter and Holmes Orchids in Newberry has been hybridizing, growing and selling quality orchids for over 60 years. They sell both retail and wholesale; domestic and internationally. You are invited to tour their greenhouses at any time during normal business hours. Orchids range from $10 – $35. Specialty varieties higher. Located 3.4 miles south of the town of Newberry. 629 Mendenhall Rd Newberry, South Carolina
Monday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Closed on Sunday